Lauren Nolan
Director | Editor | Cinematographer
 Pray Moe, 24, recently started working the night shift with her father, Shaw Reh, and struggles to stay awake while waiting for a bus to pick her and her father up for a doctor's appointment.

A New Beginning

After spending 20 years in a refugee camp in Thailand, a Karenni family from Myanmar starts a new life in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Out of the family of 10, the two strongest English speakers are Pray Mo, 24, and Soe Reh, 19. As the oldest children still in the family (the eldest son decided to stay behind in Thailand), they both share a lot of the daily responsibilities - including keeping track of appointments, coordinating with immigration workers, and shopping for food, clothes and other necessities.

Even though the two have become the caregivers of the family, they have also gone down two distinct and separate paths since their arrival to the United States. Pray Mo joined her father working the night shift at a Perdue plant an hour outside of town to support the family.

Soe Reh, on the other hand, was also of working age but wanted to finish school. It was a long and arduous process, since many school officials said that, at 19, he was too old to go back to high school. Soe Reh insisted on his desire to finish his schooling however, and was finally enrolled in the ninth grade at Greenwood High School in October 2015, two months after the family arrived to their new home.

 Pray Moe, 24, recently started working the night shift with her father, Shaw Reh, and struggles to stay awake while waiting for a bus to pick her and her father up for a doctor's appointment.

Pray Moe, 24, recently started working the night shift with her father, Shaw Reh, and struggles to stay awake while waiting for a bus to pick her and her father up for a doctor's appointment.

 Reh Reh, 9, tries on his first pair of glasses after leaving an eye appointment with Keh Meh and Soe Reh. Keh Meh and Soe Reh were prescribed glasses as well.

Reh Reh, 9, tries on his first pair of glasses after leaving an eye appointment with Keh Meh and Soe Reh. Keh Meh and Soe Reh were prescribed glasses as well.

 Pray Moe attempts to decipher the utility bill for the family’s apartment to see how much they owe for the month. As the oldest daughter in the family, Pray Moe has taken over a lot of the responsibilities. Since her parents don't speak English, she is the one that has to take care of bills, doctor's appointments, and other basic necessities.

Pray Moe attempts to decipher the utility bill for the family’s apartment to see how much they owe for the month. As the oldest daughter in the family, Pray Moe has taken over a lot of the responsibilities. Since her parents don't speak English, she is the one that has to take care of bills, doctor's appointments, and other basic necessities.

 Phones play an important part in the kid's lives. It's a way to connect with their past culture, and also learn about their new culture. From left, Pray Moe, 24, Ti Reh, 8, Nga Meh, 2, and Reh Reh, 9, listen to one of their favorite songs, "I'm A Gummy Bear" on an otherwise quiet afternoon.

Phones play an important part in the kid's lives. It's a way to connect with their past culture, and also learn about their new culture. From left, Pray Moe, 24, Ti Reh, 8, Nga Meh, 2, and Reh Reh, 9, listen to one of their favorite songs, "I'm A Gummy Bear" on an otherwise quiet afternoon.

 Pray Moe, 23, recently joined her father on the third shift at Perdue, a factory about an hour way from their apartment in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She works most nights, leaving around 10pm and not getting back home until 10am. After sleeping most of the day, Pray Moe gets ready for work while her siblings play in the other room.

Pray Moe, 23, recently joined her father on the third shift at Perdue, a factory about an hour way from their apartment in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She works most nights, leaving around 10pm and not getting back home until 10am. After sleeping most of the day, Pray Moe gets ready for work while her siblings play in the other room.

 The youngest daughter in the family, Nga Meh, 2, puts a flower up to her brother Soe Reh's nose and asks him to smell it. He obliges, tucking it behind his ear.

The youngest daughter in the family, Nga Meh, 2, puts a flower up to her brother Soe Reh's nose and asks him to smell it. He obliges, tucking it behind his ear.

 On an unusually warm day in October the kids ventured outside to play soccer and ride bikes in their backyard. Benedic, 5, took his bike out to play while Soe Reh and Pray Moe kept watch.

On an unusually warm day in October the kids ventured outside to play soccer and ride bikes in their backyard. Benedic, 5, took his bike out to play while Soe Reh and Pray Moe kept watch.

 Jen Kash is one of the many people helping Soe Reh and Pray Moe to take care of their family after settling in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in August. Even though the two speak better English than their parents, they still struggle with more than basic sentences. In order for Soe Reh to go to school, the school district needed his grades from tenth grade, which is the last grade he finished at the refugee camp in Thailand where they lived before coming to the U.S. Kash wrote down the request on paper, hoping that they had a friend at the refugee camp they could call for help in retrieving his grades.

Jen Kash is one of the many people helping Soe Reh and Pray Moe to take care of their family after settling in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in August. Even though the two speak better English than their parents, they still struggle with more than basic sentences. In order for Soe Reh to go to school, the school district needed his grades from tenth grade, which is the last grade he finished at the refugee camp in Thailand where they lived before coming to the U.S. Kash wrote down the request on paper, hoping that they had a friend at the refugee camp they could call for help in retrieving his grades.

 Pray Mo takes down the day's laundry while her younger siblings play behind her.

Pray Mo takes down the day's laundry while her younger siblings play behind her.

 While out doing errands, Pray Moe and Soe Reh stop at an Asian grocery store near their apartment.

While out doing errands, Pray Moe and Soe Reh stop at an Asian grocery store near their apartment.

 When the family first arrived to the U.S. in August, Soe Reh,19, was not at first admitted to school due to his age. After a couple months of waiting and talking to school officials, Soe Reh was finally admitted into the ninth grade at Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky in October. Most of his day is spent in this room with ESL teacher Marie-Louise Mbanfu.

When the family first arrived to the U.S. in August, Soe Reh,19, was not at first admitted to school due to his age. After a couple months of waiting and talking to school officials, Soe Reh was finally admitted into the ninth grade at Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky in October. Most of his day is spent in this room with ESL teacher Marie-Louise Mbanfu.

 Soe Reh, 19, holds his youngest sister, Nga Meh, 2, at their apartment after she started crying.

Soe Reh, 19, holds his youngest sister, Nga Meh, 2, at their apartment after she started crying.